Trauma and Symbolic Violence: A 1st person perspective approach to meanings of sexualised coercion

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Our understanding of 'reactions to trauma' is dominated by concepts like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The use of such concepts has been criticised but simultaneously integrated in folk-psychology. Connecting emotional and cognitive processes as well as acts - such as in gendered practices - to praxis, and drawing on the concept of symbolic violence, this article contributes to their critique. In order to develop the analysis of difficulties victims may experience, they will be reconceptualised using critical psychological concepts such as 1st person perspectives and participation. The analysis seeks to undertake a discussion of personal meanings attributed to 'traumatisation'. It raises questions as to whether concepts of this kind and related practices may constitute symbolic violence and contribute to victimisation through looping-processes. Furthermore it aims at unfolding an understanding inclusive of connections between societal practices, aspects of symbolic violence, and the conduct of lives. The analysis is based on an empirical study of victimisation through rape and other forms of sexualised coercion.
Translated title of the contributionTraume og symbolsk vold: Et første persons perspektiv på sexualiserede overgrebs betysninger
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal für Psychologie
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1 -22
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • 1st person perspectives
  • trauma
  • symbolic violence
  • rape
  • looping effects

Cite this